MOORE, Kenneth Owen Flying Officer, No.224 Squadron, J22754 Distinguished Service Order - American Silver Star RCAF Personnel Awards 1939-1949
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MOORE, F/O Kenneth Owen (J22754) - Distinguished Service Order - No.224 Squadron - Award effective 22 August 1944 as per London Gazette of that date and AFRO 2052/44 dated 22 September 1944. Born at Rockhaven, Saskatchewan, 11 August 1922. Trained at No.7 ITS, Edmonton, dates uncertain, No.6 EFTS, Prince Albert (17 March to 21 May 1942) and No.4 SFTS. Attended No.1 General Reconnaissance School, Summerside (9 October to 22 November 1942). To No.31 Personnel Depot, Moncton, dates uncertain. Attended No.111 OTU, Nassau, Bahamas, 1 January to 4 April 1943 (flying Mitchells to 8 March 1943 and Liberators thereafter). With Overseas Ferry Unit, Dorval, 29 May to 1 June 1943. Flying with No.1 (Coastal) OTU, Hampshire, 24 June to 24 July 1943. To No.224 Squadron, St. Eval. Moved with that squadron to RAF Milltown, Morayshire, 9 September 1944, serving with that unit to 29 November 1944. Attended Bombing Advanced Basics School, RAF Squiresgate, 13-22 December 1944 when he ceased flying with the RAF. Repatriated date uncertain. Flying Instructor at No.5 OTU, Abbotsford, 10 March to 26 August 1945. Release date uncertain; flying instructor in Winnipeg, 1947. To No.112 (Transport) Flight, 9 September 1947. To TTS (Air), Canadian Joint Air Training Centre, Rivers, 29 July 1949. To summer camp, Gimli, 7 July 1950 and again 1 November 1952. To RCAF Staff College, 9 September 1958. To No.111 Communications and Rescue Flight, 14 September 1958. To No.2 (Maritime) OTU, Summerside, 26 June 1962. With No.407 Squadron, Comox, 6 November 1962 to 30 August 1965. Cited with WO William P. Foster (RCAF, DFC), WO J. McDowall (RAF, DFC) and Sergeant J. Hamer (RAF, DFM). Postwar he received King's Commendation for Valuable Services in the Air (1948) for work in conjunction with Operation CANON. Died in Victoria, 17 January 2008. RCAF photo PL-28003 (ex UK-7379 dated 19 January 1944) shows F/O K.O Moore and P/O A.P. Gibb, DFM. RCAF photo PL-32004 (ex UK-14130 dated 24 August 1944) shows Warrant OfficerT.J. McDowall (Liberator navigator) and F/O K.O. Moore, DSO of Vancouver. PL-32005 (ex UK-14131 dated 24 August 1944) shows F/O K.O. Moore at controls of his Liberator. Photo PL-39580 is a portrait taken about 1949. Photo PL-40035 (ex UK-15874 dated 14 October 1944) taken in castle that served as squadron headquarters; on left is F/O A.P. Gibb, DFM; on right is F/O K.O. Moore, with ancient battle axes. // Flying Officer Moore, Warrant Officers Foster and McDowall, and Sergeant Hamer were pilot, wireless operator (air), navigator and flight engineer respectively of an aircraft in which they attacked and destroyed two U-Boats during a recent sortie. In both actions which occurred within the space of twenty-two minutes, Flying Officer Moore pressed home his attack with great skill and gallantry in the face of heavy opposing fire. He was brilliantly supported by his crew whose efficiency and co-operation throughout were of inestimable value. On this notable sortie Flying Officer Moore and his comrades set an example of the highest order and their feat was worthy of the highest praise. // Public Record Office Air 2/9157 has recommendation drafted by the Commanding Officer, No.224 Squadron, on 8 June 1944. The aircraft was identified as G/224, serial BZ792. He had flown 35 sorties (412 operational hours). // Flying Officer Moore on the night of 7/8 June whilst on anti-U-boat patrol in G/224 attacked and sunk two enemy U-Boats. // This remarkable achievement was the result of two attacks within a space of 20 minutes. In each case Flying Officer Moore attacked in the face of heavy flak from the enemy and by a combination of first class flying and perfect crew drill succeeded in sinking the two U-boats. // Flying Officer Moore has been on operations since July 1943 and in addition to the attacks cited above, attacked a U-Boat escorted by two destroyers very close to the French coast on the 31st March (S/224). In spite of the imminent danger of enemy aircraft, Flying Officer Moore continued to shadow the Force for almost three hours. // That any crew in such a short space of time could succeed in carrying out two such accurate attacks on most difficult targets at night is a wonderful tribute to the keenness and efficiency of its Captain. At all times this officer has shown an extraordinary keenness to engage the enemy and his efforts are a superb example to the squadron and in fact to the Command as a whole. // He is accordingly very strongly recommended for the immediate award of the Distinguished Service Order. // The Officer Commanding, Station St. Eval, wrote that same day: // This officer is strongly recommended for the immediate award of the Distinguished Service Order. // He has always shown an outstanding determination to engage the enemy and his attacks on the night of the 7th/8th June, when it was vital that the enemy should be prevented from entering the Channel, were carried out with unusual dash and success. // The visual evidence of members of the crew points to the complete destruction of both U-Boats and photographs taken at the time confirm the accurate placing of the depth charges. // This was supported by the Air Officer Commanding, No.19 Group (9 June 1944) and approved by the Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Coastal Command, on 11 June 1944. // MOORE, F/L Kenneth Owen, DSO (J22754) - Silver Star (United States) - No.224 Squadron - Award effective 15 May 1945 as per London Gazette of that date and AFRO 1127/45 dated 6 July 1945. Trained at No.7 ITS, No.6 EFTS and No.4 SFTS. DHist file 181.009 D.3053 (RG.24 Vol.20634) has text of citation taken from USAF General Order 92 dated 14 November 1944. // // For gallantry in action against the enemy while participating in anti-U-boat patrol, 7 June 1944. On this night, despite intense anti-aircraft fire from the enemy, he attacked and sank two U-Boats within twenty minutes. The courage and skill displayed by Flying Officer Moore on this occasion reflect highest credit upon himself and the Armed Forces of his country. // RCAF Press Release No.3846 dated 18 August 1944 by F/L Len Tilley (transcribed by Huguette Oates) reads: // // WITH THE RCAF IN BRITAIN: -- In a 22-minute battle soon after D-Day, a coastal command Liberator captained by a Canadian sank two U-Boats which had slipped into the English Channel to intercept reinforcements and supplies rushing toward the Normandy beaches. // Seven of the ten-man crew were RCAF airmen. This exploit, which permitted a safe Channel crossing for thousands of Allied troops now fighting for the liberation of Europe, was revealed today in an immediate award of the D.S.O. to F/O K.O. Moore of 2645 Fifth Avenue West, Vancouver, captain of the aircraft whose mother lives at 33A West Hastings, Vancouver. // Other decorations to crew members for exceptional courage and outstanding devotion to duty were awarded to Warrant Officer W.P. Foster, wireless air-gunner, R.R.6, Guelph, and to Warrant Officer T.J. McDowell, R.A.F. navigator, of Kilmarnock, Scotland. Each received an immediate D.F.C. An immediate D.F.M. was awarded to Sergeant J. Hamer, R.A.F. wireless air-gunner, of Colchester, Essex. // Immediately after the attacks, submarine wreckage of every description, large oil patches, bodies of dead Nazis, and twelve German survivors clinging to three life rafts were all that could be seen in the Channel, testifying to the accuracy with which the Liberator released its depth charges. // Made up of seven Canadians, an Englishman, a Scotsman and Welshman, Moore’s crew becomes one of the most decorated coastal-command crews overseas. Immediate D.F.M.’s had previously been awarded to two other crewmembers, F/O A.P. Gibb, navigator of 2054 West-41st Avenue, Vancouver, and W.O. M.N. Werbiski, wireless air-gunner of Rorketon, Manitoba. Others who shared in the victorious action were F/O J.M. Ketcheson, second pilot, of Trenton, Ontario; Warrant Officer D.H. Griese, and W/O E.E. Davidson, both wireless air-gunners, who went to same school and grew up together, Beachburg, Ontario, and F/S I.C. Webb, wireless air-gunner of Pontypridd, South Wales. Griese and Davidson will receive Mention-in-Despatches. // This action was not the crew’s first encounter with the enemy. The same airmen, a few weeks prior to D-Day, outwitted two Nazi destroyers trying to shoot them down and five minutes later attacked a fully-surfaced U-boat in the Bay of Biscay. Previously, when the crew was flying under an RAF skipper, they saved an Allied convoy in the North Atlantic, driving off single-handedly six Heinkel 177s fitted with glider-bombs. // When the first Allied invasion troops were ready to start for Normandy, Moore and his crew were ordered to prevent enemy submarines entering the Channel, while invasion convoys were steaming towards France. Soon after the invasion started, Moore’s crew boarded “G for George” and took off on their first Channel patrol. It was to last all night and to ensure that not a single U-boat got past them. “Everything was quiet when we approached France at the outset of our patrol,” Moore reported upon returning to base. “The only things we saw were a few fishing vessels lying off the enemy-held coast. Things began to happen when we turned around and flew back near those fishing vessels for the second time.” // Clearly visible ahead -- fully surfaced and under way -- was a U-boat. Moore spotted it first. Seven of the Nazi crew were soon distinguishable in the conning tower, manning guns and waiting for the Liberator to come close. Gibb, in the Liberator’s front turret, opened fire as soon as the bomber was within range, scoring repeated hits on the conning tower and deck and shooting two Nazi gunners into the sea. Intense flak came up but the skipper’s evasive action resulted in the Liberator flying through the hail of cannon fire unscathed. As the Liberator roared over the U-boat, depth charges were dropped, Griese, in the top turret, and Webb, in the rear turret, reported a perfect “straddle”. Almost immediately the U-boat was lifted almost out of the water. Force of the explosions was so great against the submarine’s bottom that the U-boat then disintegrated into a thousand pieces, littering the sea with wreckage, oil, and bodies. // Positive proof of the sinking was obtained from photographs taken by Ketcheson and Hamer. These clearly showed the charges falling on either side of the submarine and the resultant wreckage. Five minutes later, Moore’s bomber again had taken up its patrol. // As we resumed patrol over the Channel, I remember that Mike Werbiski was busy at the wireless set, flashing back to base our report advising Coastal that we’d just completed an attack. Don Griese came up and said “Come on, let’s get two subs”. “I also remember telling him to be patient,” related Moore.” A few minutes later, McDowell shouted that he could see another U-boat crossing the Channel ahead of the Liberator. It was fully surfaced. // Again Gibb opened fire from his nose turret as ‘G for George’ closed for the attack. This time, however, the bomber crew were up against much heavier enemy “ack-ack”. The submarine threw up flak in the shape of a fan and Moore had to fly right through it to release his depth charges which again scored a perfect “straddle”. The stricken submarine remained surfaced immediately after the attack, but listing heavily to starboard. A few seconds later, the U-boat’s nose rose at an angle of 75 degrees and the craft slid backwards beneath the water. Twelve survivors clinging to three rafts were counted before the Liberator resumed its patrol. // The seven Canadians in “G for George” came overseas early in 1943 and have been flying together ever since. Members of an RAF squadron based in southern England, they’ve one superstition which all share. They won’t start an operational flight without “Dinty”, a stuffed panda mascot brought from Montreal. “Dinty” always rides in the Liberator whenever it’s sub-hunting or escorting convoys. “Dinty” was there when the crew fought off the previously-mentioned Heinkels in the North Atlantic, was in the nose turret during the Bay of Biscay action, was present during the crew’s first submarine attack and, of course, when the two U-boats were sunk. // “Dinty” wears RCAF battledress and a warrant officer’s insignia on the sleeve. He also wears an observer’s wing, Canada badges, and size five patent-leather boots. He recently put up his 1939-43 star. Each crew member, to show that “Dinty” is something more than an ordinary mascot, wears, under his battledress lapel, a black and white cloth reproduction of “Dinty’s head.